Learn to measure the success rate of E-mail campaigns

E-mail is a very effective tool how to address your customers with a thoroughly prepared and creative message. Therefore it comes as no surprise that it is a very popular marketing tool of many companies.
What’s the sending of E-mails good for?
Except for generating sales, entrepreneurs use it to keep customers, create communities and also for sending of messages propagating the brand. Successful companies place great emphasis on creating own E-mail databases using online and offline communication with people. 
Many webpages contain links for logging in and subscribing to e-mail newsletters. E-mail addresses acquired in this way can then be used in various types of activation campaigns with the goal of getting new customers. However E-mail is also a good tool for keeping the customers. It represents a really effective way of addressing the customers, who already purchased something, with the goal of persuading them to a new purchase. It allows very well to segment the groups of customers based on various types of information (e.g. purchase history or demographic data) and thus send personalized messages, which increase the conversion of past purchases. 
Irrespective of the way you use your E-mail marketing, your goal is relatively clear. You want to define what creates a successful E-mail campaign, measure its results and subsequently know how to segment the data in such way as to discover, why your campaign was or wasn’t successful. The key to success is the monitoring of the activities of the visitors of your webpage, which come through E-mail.
Measure twice, cut once
An important aspect for measuring the success rate of E-mails and all related marketing activities is first and foremost the correct definition of desired results. E.g. if you are starting a new campaign to get new customers, the goal can be to get 100 new customers. If you are trying to make your E-mail marketing more effective, the goal can be to increase the number of users, who read your e-mail. Always define this goal before you start your campaign.
There are several ways how to measure the success rate of E-mail campaign. You can monitor the numbers of delivered and opened E-mails or the number of clicks. However these don’t have to be necessarily correct and depend on the tool you use to send the E-mails. The number of openings of the E-mails is usually recorded when an image is loaded in the inbox of the recipient. However the majority of modern E-mail tools (e.g. Microsoft Outlook and Google Gmail) blocks images, which significantly reduces the accuracy of this metric. 
Therefore it’s only up to you, if you even decide to use this method of measuring. The number of opened E-mails can help you to get a picture on the convincing power of the subjects of your messages. If the recipients don’t even open your E-mail, then you can be sure that they won’t react to it, irrespective of its content. Clicks are a great way how to measure if your messages or advertisement can persuade the recipients to perform certain action. If no one is clicking on your E-mails, then they cannot persuade the recipients and something needs to change. Both metrics can help you to optimize the content of your E-mails.
The best way of measuring E-mail campaigns is definitely the evaluation of collected data after the user click on the E-mail and comes to your webpage. In this situation the Google Analytics service will be very helpful to you. It will provide you with an overview on the rate of leaving the webpages, displaying of webpages and the time spent on the webpage, number of conversions and profits generated by the E-mail campaign. The rate of leaving the webpages can help you to determine how relevant is the first user’s experience in relation to the content of the E-mails. E-mail campaigns with a high rate of leaving should be reevaluated. On the other hand the displaying of webpages and the time spent on the webpage can help you understand whether the visitors coming from E-mails are interested in the content of your webpage. With respect to the purpose of your E-mail these metrics can be very important to your. If E-mail is part of your campaign, the goal of which is to inform about certain product, they you want to definitely measure whether people are browsing the respective content and how much time are they spending on webpages dedicated to given product. Irrespective of the subject matter of your business you definitely use E-mail marketing to generate conversions. The monitoring of the number of conversions stemming from E-mails represents the real measuring of success rate of the E-mail marketing. Except for your standard business conversions you can have specific conversions for the E-mail campaign. If e.g. you operate some E-shop, you can send E-mail to your current customers and ask them to create an account on your webpage. In this case the goal of the E-mail, or conversion is the discovery how many accounts have been created. If you have an E-shop and the goal of your marketing is to generate sales, it is important to measure exactly what sales are generated by given E-mail campaign. If you know the sales generated by a certain E-mail campaign, you can simply calculate the return of your investment in the E-mail campaign, etc.
However this data is not found there all by itself. The Google Analytics service has to be configured so as to exactly separate the data of the E-mail campaign from other marketing activities. If the work with your webpage is too confusing for you, then it is certainly better to contact a professional, ideally someone, who manages your webpage. Subsequently you can handle the evaluation of the data and statistics, you acquire using Google Analytics.
The more information you have, the better results you can achieve.
All the data you will have at your disposal should lead to the process of permanent improvement. If at any time during the analysis you discover something new, write it down and apply your experience in the next e-mail campaign. E.g. if you discover that certain segment of your E-mail database reacts very good to a specific message, maybe you will want to test various variants of this message during the subsequent E-mail campaign. Data segmentation and permanent improvement can significantly improve the performance of your E-mail marketing.
Except for analyzing a single campaign using the Google Analytics tool you can view the E-mail also in the context of all of your marketing activities. If you are not monitoring E-mail using this service, then you will gain only partial idea about your E-mails. On the other hand when using Google Analytics it is important to monitor as much information as possible. If you will know, which E-mails were sent to which people and how did they react to them, it will help you to improve the segmentation and personalization of E-mail databases. This way you will be able to send the correct E-mails to the correct recipients and the success rate of your campaigns will undoubtedly grow. 
About the Author
I have working experience ranging from start ups to corporate fortune 500 companies (CBRE) I combine an analytical mindset with a creative, out-of-the box way of thinking. I have worked for Lion&Lion (major digital agency in southeast Asia) where I was part of the Marketing and Facebook Advertisment teams. Helped a lot of start ups for fun mainly with business and marketing plans, market research and branding.
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